20% Of Car Buyers In UK Say Next Vehicle Will Be Hybrid / Electric


Just 12 percent will go for diesel power, thanks to media coverage of how dirty it really is and government policy.

More than one-fifth of UK car buyers say they will switch to a hybrid or electric vehicle when they come to replace their car, according to new research.

A study of more than 20,000 people by AA Cars found that 22 percent said they would dump petrol or diesel for lower-emission alternative fuels, despite the fact that just two percent of motorists currently run a hybrid or electric vehicle (EV).

The used car website also found that searches for second-hand hybrids and EVs are up 470 percent since 2014.

However, the company says the sudden shift in consumer attitudes may be partly down to the uncertainty surrounding diesel.

Fewer than one in eight respondents (12 percent) said they would choose diesel power for their next car, with 56 percent saying government policy has put them off the fuel. Negative media coverage of diesel was also seen as a deterrent by almost six in 10 (58 percent) of those surveyed.

Diesel fuel gauge in a car

Unsurprisingly, a massive 92 percent of diesel drivers said they wanted more clarity from the government regarding diesel vehicle policy – a need AA Cars said was “further cemented” by the fact that 24 percent of respondents “mistakenly” believe modern diesel engines are as harmful to the environment as older ones.

James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars said: “The appetite for electric and hybrid vehicles has increased significantly over the last few years, which is in no small part due to big technological leaps forward in the space.

“These advances mean vehicles can travel further on a single charge, charge points are an increasingly common sight across the country and manufacturers are designing more attractive models all the time. These are all contributing to the warming public opinion of environmentally friendly cars.

“The government has been keeping an eye on this increasing take-up and is now withdrawing grants for plug-in hybrids and reducing existing grants for pure electric vehicles. The implication is that mounting enthusiasm for non-traditionally fuelled cars won’t be dampened by removing financial incentives from the government.

“The outlook for diesel cars appears less positive, though, as our research reflects a mixture of misconception and uncertainty among traditional diesel drivers. As it stands, the used car market is following a similar trajectory to the new car market, with an uplift in searches for used green vehicles and a decrease in searches for diesel cars.

“Drivers are clearly crying out for a sense of clarity on diesel cars. A fair voice would help to demonstrate that modern diesels can be clean and fuel-efficient but also bolster the place of green vehicles in the car industry – this isn’t a zero-sum game.

“The pervasive feeling of uncertainty around the role of diesels is distorting and confusing the market for buyers and sellers.”

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7 Comments on "20% Of Car Buyers In UK Say Next Vehicle Will Be Hybrid / Electric"

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Kind of disappointed it’s not much higher.
Then again the first 20% is the hardest

Why is it disappointing? Manufacturers have no ability to supply EVs at 20% market share yet.

Unfortunately that’s the truth, I suspect when that 20% find it’s a six month wait the numbers will drop to 5%. But at least they are starting to ramp and long waiting lists fir EVs would you’d hope encourage manufacturers to get a %£@& move on !

It’s partly because there’s not much Tesla hype in the UK. People have no idea how much better the cars are. People are fed up with diesel. oddly nobody has demonised VW, but there’s no sign of the Tesla Model 3 here and that will be popular.
I don’t own an EV, but my next car will be when my Audi A4 lease runs out in a year. Hopefully this will be in time for the model 3 to arrive over here. I almost got an iPace, but I cant get out of my Audi lease yet.
The Leaf is a popular car and now ranges are an acceptable 150 miles plus (we don’t drive as far in the UK), there’s a few options including the Kona so as perceptions begin to change, people will change their minds, but it’s no surprise vehicle sales are down 20% year on year, people are starting to wait for the right electric car to arrive.

Better is a subjective judgement. Tesla has an awful lot to do here to make an impact.
Hardly anyone here in the UK drives a sedan these days and then there is the cost. When the Model 3 finally arrives there will be a lot of reservation holders to supply before any new customers can get a look in. They don’t have enough outlets or service facilities to handle a lot of new customers.
Don’t get me wrong. I think that Tesla is a great company but I found the Model S I test drove quite rattly. This was the same as the one I rode in at Fully Charged Live. For a car costing what they do, this is not ‘better’ quality than other things.

As with all EV makers, there are simply not enough BEV cars to go around. That is the biggest problem IMHO.

I agree. Hopefully we’re not alone; then maybe manufacturers will get their act together. Rather than starving the consumer of options in the hope of forcing us to keep buying the same crappy fossils.

I sure want an electric, but it’ll be a year or two at least before I’ll switch (very new current car combined with low mileage).

But yea.. Hopefully they make a cheap model x by then! Or something with a big boot at least.